Online Car Scams That Could Lead to Being Held at Gunpoint

The South Plains Auto Theft Task force wants to warn the Lubbock area about an online car scam that is selling stolen vehicles.

Lubbock Police told KLBK and EverythingLubbock.com that they have an on-going investigation on these car scams, but don't have any further information at this time. 

"You will be pulled over at gunpoint if you're in a stolen vehicle, we don't know if you're an innocent purchaser at that time," South Plains Auto Theft Task Force Crime Prevention Coordinator Mandy Myers said. "So please just be careful."

Myers added that the scam looks like regular car ads on social media sites. Where an individual is advertising a used vehicle that has been stolen. Those same buyers are then being pulled over by local law enforcement. 

"So we've seen a definitely rise in people stealing vehicles, placing them on Craigslist, Facebook, Lubbock Buy Sell, things like that," Myers said. "Then selling the vehicles for a lower price and then they're actually stolen."

The South Plains Auto Theft Task Force has found this scam throughout the last couple of years, but noticed an increase in recent weeks. 

"Income tax returns have started coming in and a lot of times people will use those on down payments on vehicles," Myers said. 

However, there are warning signs to detect some of these misleading ads.

"If they do not have a title, do not purchase a vehicle without a title in hand," Myers said. "That doesn't mean you're going to get it from your cousin's uncle's brother's sister next week and get it to you. You need a title in hand when you purchase that vehicle."

Lubbock Police said every circumstance varies, but if one of their officers pull over an individual driving a stolen vehicle then that person could become a suspect for an unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, pending further investigation. 

Myers said they discourage anyone from buying a vehicle online, and to instead use a licensed car dealership.

"If it's too good to be true, the price is too cheap, it probably is," Myers said.

Anyone with information about one of these cases, can call Crime Line anonymously at 741-1000. 


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